Fruity feast: Make a ricotta cherry tart, shrimp salad
Fruit adds flavor and a bit of sweetness to summer dishes. Here, chef Nick Stellino makes a watermelon, shrimp, and goat cheese salad and a ricotta cherry tart.
Makes 6 servings
- 1 7-pound watermelon (You will not use all of the watermelon, but 7 pounds will provide some leeway for mistakes when slicing it.)
- 1 13-ounce goat-cheese log, unwrapped and chilled in the refrigerator until hard
- 3/4-pound shrimp, 31 to 35 count (total of 20 shrimp)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 5 tablespoons DaVinci® Extra Light 100% Pure Olive Oil, divided
- 3 tablespoons freshly chopped basil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Cut 3 slices of the watermelon; each slice should be about 2-inches thick.Using a round cookie cutter (2½ inches in diameter x 1¾ inches deep), cut as many circles as possible from each of the 3 slices. Then cut each circle into slices about ¼-inch thick. You should have about 26 to 28 watermelon slices in all. That's more than you probably will need, but mistakes do happen, so it's a good idea to have plenty of extras on hand. (Plus, if you are anything like me, you'll end up tasting a few along the way!) Set the watermelon slices aside.Cut the goat-cheese log into ¼-inch slices. Before you start, make sure the cheese is quite hard, as that will prevent the slices from falling apart as you cut them. Set the slices aside.Make watermelon "towers" by sandwiching 2 slices of goat cheese between 3 slices of watermelon. You'll have 6 towers when you're finished.Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.In a bowl, mix the shrimp with the spices and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, then place in a nonstick, oven-safe pan and roast in the oven for 7 minutes. Take the pan out and let the shrimp rest for 1 minute. Top each cheese-and-watermelon tower with 3 of the shrimp. You'll wind up with a couple of extra shrimp; those are for the chef to enjoy along with the unused watermelon slices!To serve:Place the cheese-and-watermelon towers on a serving plate. Top the shrimp with fresh basil, drizzle 4 tablespoons of olive oil around the plate, and add a few drops of vinegar.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 8 eggs, separated
- 8 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 8 tablespoons flour
- 2 pounds ricotta cheese, drained of excess liquid
- 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and cut in half
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces, cut in small pieces
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.Grease a 9-inch springform pan with the butter, then dust with 1 tablespoon of flour, shaking off the excess.Beat the egg whites and 4 tablespoons of sugar for 5 minutes, until shiny and almost doubled in volume. Beat the egg yolks with an electric mixer and 4 tablespoons of sugar for 4 minutes. Add the flour and the ricotta to the egg yolk mixture and continue to mix until it forms a smooth paste.Fold the beaten egg whites gently into this mixture. Keep 12 cherry halves and fold the rest into the ricotta mixture.Spoon the mixture into the greased pan and bake in the oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours at 325 degrees, or until a knife inserted in the cake comes out clean.Let it cool to room temperature, take it out of the springform pan, dust the top with powdered sugar, and decorate with the remaining cherries.